As head curator, I can’t be more pleased with how this company has handled itself since its startup in October 2020. Six months later and we’re making great strides with the announcement of a new independent bookshop and our horror staff has been reviewing and promoting new releases, coordinating staff reviews into the structure of our new horror charts and reading guide which just went live.
We opened to controversy which I took to heart, as a group in the horror genre thought it wise to boycott or blacklist the site due to one of our co-founder’s hardships in a past business venture. While it is promoted through the horror genre that when someone faces hardships, community comes together to help. Our co-founder had 20+ years service to the genre, won awards, launched many careers, yet there were calls to fire him or face a boycott from a small group with a big microphone. Having worked alongside this man for more than 3 years, I was one of the few who saw how hard he worked, how passionate he was and how things really were behind the scenes, in the business. The black and white many saw was actually so many shades of gray. This all happened well after our initial July meeting when he pledged to return to help me out in building this site, while at the same time donating his labor proceeds to the authors who were shorted in a past bankruptcy.
So I finally was a part of doing something I wanted to do for many many years…contribute to indie literature and primarily horror. From that controversy, we got hit with emails unhappy with a publisher we feature because some felt this publisher was guilty of cancel culture against an author. Others showed unhappiness that we were featuring an author whose beliefs were “dangerous,” in their opinion. We continued to support both parties because we felt both were involved in showcasing good contributions to the genre. The rest was subjective and not in our jurisdiction (which is to simply review literature).
Just a month ago, we were hit yet again with another wave of controversy as we featured another author who others were working hard to blacklist for some controversy dating back before IndieMuse was even in business. One of our reviewers was even pressured on social media to take down a positive review!!!????
I’m not one to make public announcements as I detest drama and work for this company on the premise to do good work. I try to stay away from social media traps (which incidentally cause more wasted work hours and creativity than anything else). But I will pin this post linked to an autoresponder for the next major controversy I find in my inbox.
We at IndieMuse are here to do one thing: offer a critical resource for readers to find quality independent literature. We are not here to be part of a witch hunt, or to get involved in drama or controversies, or revisit our high school days. We are simply here to do good work and promote what we love. We are also not an author or publisher fan-boy/fan-girl site, like so many others; we distance ourselves from this in order to be able to be objective and deliver to readers a valued resource for finding quality independent works.
Before you pile on in the daily controversies out there, get to know the matter, truly know the full circle of each story, get real facts, get to know those who you think you find issues with. Work it out.
And don’t bring it here, to us, because, as a staff, we’re working to promote simply through critical focus on literature. We’re not part of some self-proclaimed moral elite who feel the need to cast others on socially right or wrong skewers (unless there’s legal reason for us to react).
The horror genre is supposed to be made up of rebels and literary hellions…that’s why we love it. Yet, there seems to be quite the surfacing of mainstream pop-culture cancel-culture running rampant in all different directions. Partaking in this sort of thing is far more dangerous to this genre due to the edgy content produced, so beware: what comes around goes around. You wouldn’t think the horror genre of all genres would need its own gossip column, yet here were are…
We judge by the works you release. Simple. You may not agree with certain assessments from reviewers or curators, that’s fine. Some on our staff may not agree with your public comments, but that is besides the point and a non-factor. We have worked hard to shape our company founded by the principle of keeping our noses to the grindstones, keeping our eyes on the work and the job at hand. If you’re a creator, I highly recommend that same principle. Beware of your social media ties, in-crowd cliques and influences in general, as this may very well lead not to the promotion of your career and work, but to your ultimate demise.
Do. Good. Work. While your popularity socially may wax and wane with the cycles of the times, your contributions to your genre, the work you release now will be judged forever. There’s where your focus should be set at—not on the latest “community controversy.”
Thanks to everyone for the great support shown to IndieMuse; we on staff greatly appreciate it! Our 5 curators (who have a combined 60+ years working in literature, as critics, authors, editors, publishers & more) have adapted to the company principles, working countless hours to keep up with new releases and without due credit through anonymity, as the job is predicated on not having direct influence in their decision-making. Our reviewers work equally as hard under their real names and some have faced undue influence/pressure publicly which threatens the foundation of running a fair criticism and promotional site.
As the horror genre has quite often been cast to the back page of the literary world, our founders have given it a front-page feature in development on a site that will eventually bring in many more genres and interests. We’d like horror to stay on the main page this time!
Thanks for your help and understanding!